Budgeting Tips for a Successful Year of Saving

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Planning your finances over a year can be quite exciting; twelve months is a good period of time to work with and you can make a big difference to your overall financial situation with good money habits over this period.

It also means you can break some bad habit and get a chance to see how well some new ones may be working for you. It is not always easy to see savings results over a shorter time period like one or two months. A year gives you a good sense of what can be achieved in the medium to long term in terms of savings goals for you and your family.

You’ll find some tips below for budgeting for a successful year of saving. There is quite a lot of information available online about budgeting and saving successfully, a lot of which comes from debt counselling experts like Debt Rescue, so be sure to browse around for additional advice after reading this post.

Know Where Your Money Went Last Year

Get out last year’s records and take a look at what you spent your money on. Look for your spending patterns. See what seems to be essential and what can be classed as discretionary. Be realistic and a little ruthless with yourself (for example, the latest iPhone is not essential, but your phone bill might be). Your discretionary spend is where you can begin to make your savings in the coming year.

Make Your Own

If your analysis shows you’re spending a lot on lunch at work, consider bringing your own. Making your own lunch is estimated to save around $4,000 a year. Bringing your own coffee in a travel mug is also a saving, estimated at around $1,000 a year. That’s a pretty good start right there. If you don’t want to give it all up, perhaps just buy your takeaway coffee once a week and take a homemade cup the rest of the time. It’ll still make a saving. Other savings you could make include borrowing DVDs and videogames from your local library rather than buying or downloading them, and avoiding buying bottled water. These two together could easily save you another $1,000 or so a year.

Choose One Essential Cost per Month

It’s quite time-consuming to reorganise or investigate all your standard spends like contents insurance or car insurance in one go, so don’t. Choose one each month and shop around for the best deal. Try to do this about eight weeks out from the policy expiry dates so you have plenty of time. See what kind of deal you can get for your insurance, energy, and phone and internet plans. Even if you knock a few dollars off each of these a month, this adds up over a year.

Once you know where your money has gone, you can take steps to pull back on expenditure for the next 12 months and watch your savings grow. It’s the little changes you make to your expenses that will reap big rewards over a twelve month timeframe and you will be surprised at what you can achieve in only one year.

Do you have any budgeting tips for a successful year of saving? Share your wisdom in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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